News Release: DEC Issues Guidance to Avoid Conflicts With Coyotes and Black Bears
Residents of Dewitt frequently have questions and concerns about the wildlife they see within the town, particularly coyotes and foxes. While the town does not deal directly with these animals, we can pass along some tips for living peacefully with the coyotes and foxes which are present here.
1) Wild animals should not be approached. If an animal is obviously sick, acting aggressively towards humans or otherwise worrisome, call 911.
2) Healthy foxes normally hunt around dawn and dusk. This pattern changes in the spring and early summer when pups are in the den. During this time the parents are more likely to be seen during the daytime, display territorial behavior and be aggressive towards domestic dogs that they view as a threat to their young.
3) Coyotes behave similarly, but are particularly adaptive to their situation. They will hunt more in the daytime if that is when the food is available.
4) Dog and cat owners need to be aware of these habits. While larger dogs will not be in danger, ones that are approximately the size of the coyote or fox may be challenged, even in their own yards. Small dogs and cats are at risk of being taken for food.
5) To lessen the chance of encountering a coyote or fox on your property, make sure that you don’t provide a food source for them. Do not leave pet food outdoors.Do not store garbage outdoors.Clean up around bird feeders, coyotes and foxes feed on animals that are attracted to the seeds. Make sure that your compost pile is protected and does not contain meat or other foods that attract animals. Do not put small dogs outside on tie-outs and keep cats indoors, if possible.
6) If you encounter a fox or coyote, wave your arms and make a lot of noise: the animal will likely leave. Running away often results in the animal coming closer since running imitates the behavior of prey.
If you would like more information about coyotes, you can visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.